Women in Property

Women in Property

With August being Women’s Month in SA, there is no better time for women to think about buying homes of their own or becoming property investors, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“One reason is that there are currently more properties for sale in most areas than prospective buyers and that prices are accordingly very negotiable,” he says.

“In fact more than 90% of sellers currently have to drop their asking prices by around 10% to achieve a sale, so there is a good chance of being able to purchase more home than you expected for the money you have available.”

Another reason to buy now, he notes, is that it is relatively easy to obtain a home loan. “Of course you need to have a steady household income and a good credit record, but the banks are currently keen to lend to home buyers and are offering good interest rates.

“This is especially true if you have already saved up a deposit and if you apply through an originator like BetterBond, which is currently able to get approval for 80% of the home loan applications it submits.”

Thirdly, says Kotzé, there is high and growing demand now and in the foreseeable future for rental properties, “which makes this a good time for women to become property investors and start acquiring rental homes that will provide them with capital growth along with an independent income stream”.

Looking beyond the current economics, he also says that a survey conducted by Private Property last year showed that women are in fact already the major decision-makers when it comes to property purchases, with 51% making the decision by themselves or on behalf of a partner.

“Women also outnumber men when it comes to single buyers, accounting for an estimated 10% or total home purchases compared to 7% made by single men, and we really hope to see this trend accelerating now as more women in SA move into top government and corporate positions or set up their own successful businesses.

“Property ownership is after all one of the strongest expressions of financial independence – and the sense of empowerment and personal security which that provides.”

Celebrating success

Women’s Property Network (WPN) hosted the Western Cape region for the fourth annual South African Women in Property Awards (SAWIPA), in conjunction with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) at the beginning of August.

The economic participation of women in the property sector is of vital importance and the WPN has demonstrated its commitment not only in driving the inclusion of women in the sector but also recognising the progress that women have made in the diverse role they play. The subject of gender diversity is a worldwide challenge but significant strides are being made in various industries.  

“Women still endure hardships and discrimination in corporate boardrooms of property companies. We must work together as an industry to accelerate the change needed to increase the number of women in leadership roles, and encourage the growth and development of future female leaders in the property. According to this year’s report released by Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC), it has shown that the rate of women participation in the sector is low,” says the MD of AZZARO and Chairperson of WPN, Sandi Mbatuma.

The South African Women in Property awards honour women’s leadership and talent in the property sector. They are aimed at inspiring women, to ensure growth in women participation and transformation in the sector.

“Airports Company is very proud of our continued relationship and involvement with WPN and SAWIPA. We know that the property sector is dynamic, evolving and economically impactful, but still very much untransformed from both a race and gender perspective. We, therefore, need to invest in generating long-term value for the industry, ensuring that we attract, keep and recognise highly impactful, skilled and motivated women, so that the change we talk of and want to see is effective and sustainable.” says ACSA’s Senior Manager Infrastructure and Property Development, Zinhle Ntanzi.  

The Western Cape Region 4th SAWIPA winners are:

Young Achiever category – Maryke Hennig, Associate, Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes

Business Woman of the Year category – Sibongile Booi, Managing Director, Second Office

Professional of the Year in the Private Sector category – Chloe Merrington, Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright

Professional of the Year in the Public Sector category – Gisela Kaiser, Executive Director, City of Cape Town

Winners of all the regions will by default be entered into the national awards, which will take place in October 2018.  The national awards and gala dinner is a platform the WPN uses to raise bursary funds for previously disadvantaged young women embarking on property related studies. Furthermore, WPN recently awarded over R1.5 million towards their bursary initiative.

The judges of the Western Cape Region awards were:

  •       Liezel Conradie, Regional Director of the Western and Eastern Cape Region for JHI Properties (Pty),
  •       Dorah Modise, CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA)
  •       Nonhlanhla Mayisela, CEO of Izandla Property Fund.





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